Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hi-Chew Happiness

I have found happiness. And it has become an addiction. It doesn't involve alcohol, tobacco or drugs (arguably). It is an addiction to Hi-Chews.

Hi-Chews are a Japanese taffy candy akin to Starburst, but far superior in flavor and texture. Unlike Starbust, Hi-Chews can be enjoyed to the very last bit because they don't stick to your teeth. Flavor spills from the soft, pliable candy and washes your tastebuds in intense true-to-the-fruit flavors. Pure, tangible, edible happiness. I've passed on the Hi-Chew spell to friends and more than one of them has deemed these to be like crack.

Morinaga, the maker of Hi-Chews, has produced brands for sale in various Asian countries as well as the U.S. The set of standard American flavors are green apple, lemon, orange, strawberry and mango (listed in my personal flavor preference order). Recently a friend went to Japan and brought back Japanese Hi-Chews- besides having a quirkier packaging displaying renderings of the fruit alongside pictures of random landscapes or monuments, the Japanese versions are more fun with a greater range of interesting flavors. The four new flavors imported for me were dragon fruit, blood orange, an as yet undetermined sour grape-like fruit and cherry. Some Japanese flavors, like grape and melon, can randomly be found in New York. I have heard the original Hi-Chew flavor was aloe yogurt. I can't wait for the day that finds it way into my hands. The chase for new Hi-Chew flavors goes on....

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